The long held belief that milk (or the equivalent in calcium) can help strengthen bones has been vindicated by a US study group.
It has discovered that children who receive the recommended daily allowance of calcium increased their bone mineral density, which should reduce the risk of fracture in later life. The intake could be by supplement or diet, such as milk (or the equivalent).
The study team, led by Conrad Johnston of Indiana University, carried out a three year, double blind, placebo controlled trial on calcium supplementation on bone mineral density in 70 pairs of identical twins.
The daily intake of the twins given placebo was 908mg against the 1612mg intake of the others. This was achieved from 894mg from diet and 718mg from the supplement.
Among the 22 twin pairs who were prepubescent throughout the study, the twins given supplements had significantly greater increases in bone mineral density, the team reported. However, the 23 pairs who were past puberty received no benefit from the supplement.